Two designers creating a roadmap to a simpler more fulfilling lifestyle
Thursday, August 13, 2015
A CITY BUILT ON BLUE
Known for the color Delft blue, the color baked into the ceramics produced in this area for centuries,
Delft is far from being a sad blue hamlet.
It is no wonder Vermeer used it in so many of his paintings. It has Disney charm without the artifice of cloning what only true history can create.
Delft has taken time, centuries, to create a patina of beauty that cannot be reproduced by a digital world.
The canted buildings of Delft lean just a little forward toward the canals that drift through the town.
The bridges that span the canals are just tall enough for a tour boat to slip through
and for scenic beauty a vintage bike seems always to be picturesquely placed to complete the tableaux.
As with most Dutch towns whose central squares anchor their villages with one or more religious, governmental or entertainment oriented buildings.
Delft has all three of these aspects in play in its Markt Square.
Once outside the Square there was no shortage of beautiful buildings lining the canals,
homes dripping with geraniums and roses from wooden window boxes displayed a pride of ownership that was only surpassed
by the cleanliness of the brick sidewalks that ran between the facades and the edges of the canals.
Beautiful Art Nouveau patterns where either painted or built into many of the buildings adding to the medley of time that created a chronology from very early on into the early twentieth century
Storeowners dressed their shops in subtle signage and shaded their display windows with striped canvas awnings.
You could find such items from the ubiquitous souvenirs,
to the finest chocolate,
to the cheese that competes admirably with Wisconsin's best
and of course vintage Delft blue pottery.
And what could be more traditionally Dutch than a vendor who'd whittle a pair of wooden clogs for you on your one-day adventure while you toured the rest of Delft.
Even Rick and I were forced to get into the act and abandon our vanity as we clowned for the camera, Rick in a pair of red ones
and me in a very large yellow shoe I was bullied into sitting in by the shop owner - a woman I wasn't about to argue with.
Although moored to the sides of canals floating barges were employed as additional summertime seating for many of the restaurants that are sprinkled throughout Delft.
We had a hard time picking a place to eat for lunch but settled on the Stads-Koffyhuis and a table on their barge. Their specialty is sweet or savory pancakes that are really crepes.
I had one with Dutch sausage, Dutch cheese and onions. I was so hungry and enthralled with the view that it wasn't until I had half finished my pancake that I realized I hadn't taken a picture. Sometimes a half eaten meal is a better visual recommendation than an untouched one.
Any where in Holland there are bikes, not the fancy kind you see in America with a hundred gears or tires big enough for a truck, but the normal gearless kind that are perfectly fine for a terrain without hills.
You see them lashed to railings, or attached to the fronts of buildings
or lined up toe-to-toe with a hundred other bikes in a designated bike parking area.
Cars are not quite as prevalent but when they are there they are spectacular like this Citron
or this vintage VW bus.
I've mentioned it a couple of times but it bares repeating again, I love getting off the beaten path and visiting the places that might not make it to first time traveler's list of must sees.
Delft was entirely manageable and just as gorgeous as the big cities that get the sobriquets of most beautiful in the world.
It was definitely worth veering off the major itinerary of look see.